Agilent's N6781A SMU for battery-drain analysis was one of EDN's HOT 100 products for 2010! Congrats to the N6781A R&D team for their innovative hard work.
The N6781A has an Agilent only patented seamless ranging technology that allows its 18-bit current measurement digitizer to switch from one measurement range to another with no discontinuities in the output. I actually briefly mention the N6781A in my last blog post and I cover its features and capabilities in detail in my June 27th 2010 post. The seamless ranging capability is key for handheld device design where power optimization is critical because it allows you to fully characterize the device's dynamic current profile as it transitions through various standby and operation modes. The N6781A can simulate the device's battery or it can serve as a zero ohm shunt for battery rundown tests. The N6782A is the sister product to the N6781A and it also has seamless ranging capabilities. The N6782A is geared more towards low power optimization at the component and circuit level.
Full list of EDN's HOT 100 Products click here
N6781A product page
EDN article on the N6781A click here